In 2007 my neighbor calls me up and says, Jas can I borrow some money? There is a great deal a high school buddy of mine told me about who is REALTOR®. So I ask him, how much do you need? He says, around $10,000 and then adds, I don’t want to ask my dad for it… you know how it is. Anyways, after getting some more details from him I decided if I was going to lend him money to invest in a condo, why not also invest for myself. So we did. We bought two condos. Luckily it was a good time to buy back then when the condo market was still rapidly rising.
Anyways, my printing business had slowed down and I could see the sales declining each year as the industry shifted and the US dollar continued to weaken. So I thought to myself, I’ll eventually have to sell my condo, so why not get my real estate license?
Well, after enrolling in the Phase 1 course and passing it with ease online, I completed the next two courses in class and received my provisional real estate license. Now what? I thought. How am I going to help people buy and sell houses?
You see, getting my license was the easy part. How to operate and run a business was the hard part! What the business is, is even harder for new REALTORs® to grasp. None of this is taught in school. At the end of the three courses you are given a small binder and sent on your way to interview a brokerage and start working.
The three courses just give you the basic “theory” about the real estate rules, regulations, laws, etc. – which is, in reality, only the tip of the iceberg. How is anyone to succeed without the confidence of the “practical” experience that supports the iceberg?
Unfortunately, the education system is a business model, that hurts all unwitting people who want to be REALTORS® and doesn’t arm them with the tools to become successful ones. In fact, it is not only the real estate college that takes advantage of the “aspirations of people to become successful”, you also have the cunning salespeople who target REALTORS® with promises of success if they buy their programs, websites, marketing materials, etc. Unfortunately, over 50% of REALTORS® strike out of the business in the first two years. They’ve failed to sell and face upcoming renewal fees and leave. Too bad, so many end up losing thousands of their personal savings and leave in worse shape then they were starting.
I can’t forget this period because of how dismal my first year wasl! If I didn’t have my printing business to support me, I’d be flat broke and out of the business in the first two years too! I’ve personally spent over $30K of my personal savings in educational fees and sales programs, etc. I’ve probably earned an equivalent of a “Bachelors degree in Real Estate” if such degree existed!
Over this period I learnt that the product in real estate is not the house or condo or a businesses we help our clients buy and sell. The real product is US. Yes YOU!
The success of any REALTOR® comes down to how well we market ourselves to friends, family, co-workers and strangers.
No one cares how nice you are, if you can’t “sell yourself”!
Unfortunately, I’ve learnt that I’m not the type of “salesperson” most people are looking to work with. I don’t play games and speak the truth at all times. Unfortunately, the truth comes to bite me in the ass, because you and I know, no one really believes in REALTORS®.
I’ve had mixed results in the real estate business. Clients either love me, because they like the truth, or prospects don’t give me a second look. Looking like “Osama-Bin-Laden” doesn’t help either 😉
Oh well, my Sikh faith is not up for sale and my heart knows only to care and my tongue knows only to speak the truth. My job is to continue to improve my skills and do the best job for those clients who trust me.
Well that is my story on how I got into the real estate business and if you are considering getting into the real estate business and would like some humble-pie and the honest truth, just give me a call. Do you have a story on how you got into your current career or job, do share?